Malayalam cinema industry took a drastic turn in the 21st century and in no time they became one of the most sought after South Indian film Industry. Malayalam filmmakers receive major remake offers compared to their counterparts. This new generation of directors and actors have changed the creative pattern and is slowly making the audience addicted to their movies. Among various other genres, we have a list of 12 solid Malayalam thrillers from the 21st century for you to experience, which are currently streaming on their respective streaming platforms.
It follows a squad of Police officers assisted by a consultant criminologist, Anwar Hussain (Kunchako Boban). As they get closer to unveil the identity of the faceless killer, who uses brutal tactics to slay his victims. Anjaam Pathiraa is one of the best investigative psycho thrillers in recent times. The screenplay was watertight and falls on the line of Fincher’s narration. An absolute treat for the thriller fans and keeps engrossed and guessing the entire time. It had a very good run at the cinemas and currently streaming on Sun NXT.
It’s a drama-thriller starring Mohanlal and Meena in the lead roles. This film created a nationwide interest and there were remakes in 4 Indian languages. The story follows a cable operator Georgekutty (Mohanlal) who comes under suspicion after the son of the Inspector-general of police goes missing after an attempt to physically harass Georgekutty’s daughter. The film will appear to be very straight forward and simple but director Jeethu Joseph made it very gripping with his impeccable writing. Definitely, a film not to be missed. It’s currently streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.
It’s about a police officer Sam Alex (Prithviraj Sukumar) whose loving wife and beloved daughter are killed right in front of his eyes by his enemies. This results in him becoming a chronic alcoholic. While Sam is finding it hard to recover from this state, his supervisor Aravindhaksha Menon (Vijayraghavan) requests him to proceed with a parallel investigation in a case involving the disappearance and possible kidnapping of several young married men. The game of cat and mouse was well written by Jeethu Joseph who always makes sure to keep his audience on the toes. Prithviraj did a commendable job in Memories. Memories was remade in Tamil as Arathu Sinam with Arulnithi playing the lead. The film is currently streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.
Mumbai Police once again has the stupendous Prithviraj donning the role of a police officer. ACP Antony Moses (Prithviraj Sukumaran) is involved in an accident which impairs him with partial memory loss. Antony remembers the conversation over the phone just before the accident in which he was about to mention the murderer of his friend and colleague Aaryan (Jayasurya), who was killed during a gallantry award ceremony. Disturbed by this memory loss and the fact he can’t remember the name of the killer, he volunteers to take up the case and tries to retraces his steps back to the killer. The film had different shades and was well derived by Rosshan Andrrews. It had a remarkable box-office success. Mumbai Police is currently streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.
It’s a crime-thriller which follows the story of a blind lift operator Jayaraman (Mohanlal), who is also the caretaker of his trusted friend Justice Krishnamoorthy’s (Venu) daughter Nandini (Meenakshi). Unfortunately, Krishnamoorthy is murdered by a serial killer and frames Jayaraman for it. This puts Jayaraman in a spot where he has to prove his innocence and save the Nandini from the serial killer. This was one of the finest performances by Mohanlal. The suspense factor in the film was well played, it keeps you hooked to it. Oppam is directed by Priyadarshan and it’s currently streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.
It’s a road thriller which follows a multilinear narrative that intertwines multiple stories around one particular incident. The film was inspired by an actual event which happened in Chennai. The core of the story focuses on superstar’s daughter who needs a heart transplant. They find a donor but the only way it can be brought down is by the road amidst heavy traffic. This film was well-received by the audiences and it most definitely redefined the genre. This was remade in two languages Hindi and Tamil. It’s currently streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.
Mathukutty Xavier in his directorial debut did a fantastic job in pulling off this survival thriller. An ordinary B.Sc Nursing graduate Helen (Anna Ben) whose dream is to go abroad and work attends IELTS coaching classes and works part-time at a restaurant named The Chicken Hub inside a mall. On an unfortunate night, Helen’s manager at the restaurant locks her inside the freezer unknowingly. Helen has to survive -18°C and tries everything possible to keep herself alive. But in return, she gets severely hurt and is left in despair. As the daughter doesn’t return home, Helen’s father files a complaint and an investigation breaks out with possible suspects unaware of the real situation. The film totally keeps you on the edge and was appreciated for its fresh approach. The film is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Virus is a medical thriller which is set against the backdrop of the 2018 Nipah virus outbreak in Kerala. The story follows a patient zero Zakariya who is infected and brought to a Govt. Medical College at Kozhikode. He suffers from the symptoms of an unknown virus and after a few hours dies. He happens to pass on the virus to 18 other people. The film resonates with the current pandemic situation and has a huge ensemble of cast. The film is directed by Aashiq Abu, it received critical acclaim and was a major box office success. The film is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Ishq is a story about two lovers Sachi (Shane Nigam) and Vasudha (Ann Sheetal). A romantic interlude soon turns into a nightmare when the couple is harassed by two men. This incident leaves a strong impact on their life which raises a lot of question relevant to the events which take place in the film. The film had amazing performances by the central cast and it leaves you numb at few places. The film is directed by Anuraj Manoharan, it may not have been successful at the box office but was appreciated a lot after its digital release. It’s currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
This was considered to be the coming of age thriller back in 2006 for its fresh approach. The story revolves around the graduate class of 1991. They come together for a reunion in 2006 to revive their laughter and joy. Little did they know an unfortunate incident strikes them hard with one of their classmates almost getting murdered sending him into coma. The film has Prithviraj in the lead along with an ensemble of supporting cast. Classmates was remade in Tamil, Telugu and Marathi. It’s currently streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.
Varathan is a story about an NRI couple Aby (Fahadh Faasil) & Priya (Aishwarya Lekshmi), who returns to Kerala when Aby loses his high profile job in Dubai. After they move into their ancestral home, Priya finds something odd about the people working on their family land. Initially disregards but the ignorance becomes fatal for the couple. This film is one of my favourites beside Anjaam Pathira. Mainly, because Varathan takes an unexpected turn, which excites the audience building a great momentum towards the climax. The film is directed by Amal Neerad and produced by Fahad Faasil and Nazriya. Varathan is currently streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.
The story revolves around Raghavan (Mammootty) who is in prison for double homicide serving 20 years even after his official term in jail. This piques Anjali’s (Aparna Gopinath) interest who is set to write a feature on Raghavan. After an interaction with a retired jail superintendent Rama Moorthy (Nedumudi Venu), Anjali officially meets Raghavan. Raghavan was tried for killing his wife and the daughter of his employer. Yet he claims to be innocent every now and then. This investigative writing keeps getting interesting as the facts unfold backed with brilliant performances. The film is currently streaming on Sun NXT and MX Player.